Jackson's Lamp Auction

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Jackson's Lamp Auction

Post by Admin on Sun Mar 16, 2008 7:34 am

Jackson's Auction is have a large lamp auction this month. There are only four fairy lamps in the auction but, there are hundreds of other lamps including miniatures, banquet, whale oil, kerosene, and other early lamps up for auction. If you collect oil lamps you might want to check out their catalog at:

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Re: Jackson's Lamp Auction

Post by cadking on Sun Mar 16, 2008 10:03 am

It's a shame that there are many good lamps being pushed off in box lots. I also think the high estimate on the nailsea lamp is a little high since it is a marrage. I could see it go for the low estimate since the shade should be twisted just like the base.

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Re: Jackson's Lamp Auction

Post by genden70 on Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:49 pm

It will be interesting to see what the nailsea fairy lamp brings at auction. Victorian, quality, three-piece fairy lamps for sale seem to be few and far between. (Maybe I am not traveling in the right circles.) Anyway, that is my experience. The law of supply and demand likely drives the prices up. The same law may also make a marriage not so important to a buyer. Also, because it takes experience with fairy lamps to recognize a marriage, the buyer may be unaware. It is a pretty lamp even if it is a marriage. Genene

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Re: Jackson's Lamp Auction

Post by Admin on Tue Mar 25, 2008 6:20 pm

I just thought you might be interested in knowing that the nailsea fairy lamp shade on the swirl standard sold for $1300 plus 22.5% ($1600). I suspose if someone had the matching shade you could rationalize such a price, but I suspect a dealer bought it and plans to sell it for even more. Or, worse yet, an beginning collector. I hate to see sales like this. Crying or Very sad Anyone disagree?

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Re: Jackson's Lamp Auction

Post by genden70 on Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:05 pm

Very, very interesting. Wonder what it all means for those of us who still want to buy victorian fairy lamps. Genene

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Re: Jackson's Lamp Auction

Post by Admin on Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:09 pm

I think it means that before making any investment the buyer should be informed and knowledeable. This is a nice lamp but for the money it should have been correct. That said, if the buyer is pleased with it, sometimes that is all that really matters.
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Re: Jackson's Lamp Auction

Post by genden70 on Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:57 pm

Do you think that this lamp if it had the correct dome would be worth the price paid? I suspect the answer is that something is worth what someone else is willing to pay for it. I guess what I am asking is (as it appears to me) if the value of three-piece victorian fairy lamps is increasing substantially, or if this high price is an isolated case. What I have observed with other areas of collecting that I have been familiar with, is that when there is a scarcity and few are for sale, that buyers are willing to pay very high prices for the few perfect examples that come up for sale, but are also willing to pay a surprising amount for less than perfect examples. Damaged items and marriages become very saleable in this market. Is this happening with victorian fairy lamps?

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Re: Jackson's Lamp Auction

Post by Admin on Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:11 am

You pose some interesting questions.

This lamp, if complete, has a value of $500-750 according to Ruf, R-766. I think this is a fair price to expect for this lamp. I suppose it could reach a sale value of $1000 in competitive bidding if offered at an auction, perhaps a bit more. To find one complete, however, would be difficult at best.

I not convinced that incomplete or damaged high end lamps enjoy a rising market value. I think as collectors become more educated, as they certainly have over the past 10 years, the market for incomplete or damaged lamps diminishes. However, sometimes, higher than expected prices are reached when a collector needs (or has) the missing or damaged part.

Overall, I think the market value for mid to low end fairy lamps has diminished over the past several years. The high end market, however, seems to remain strong. I think this is partly due to the scarcity of these lamps and the few high end collectors who have the resources necessary to participate in this portion of the market. The remaining 90% of collectors must make their purchases more carefully and often only "dream" of such lamps.

My collection is modest by many standards and my lamp purchases have become more selective. When I first started collecting, some 35 years ago, I purchased just about anything I found, usually at very low prices. Consequently, I have a good collection of parts and incomplete or damaged lamps. Most of these have been sold but I still keep some in hopes of finding a missing part or simply because it is difficult to part with one of "my children". Today, however, my purchases are few and far between. I prefer to focus on complete lamps or to purchase only those lamps I need to fill a gap in my collection. (I have lots of gaps.) I also prefer to save my "mad money" to make a single purchase of a quality lamp instead of making several purchases of lesser quality lamps.

Well, I think that is enough about me, I am sure all collectors have their own rationale for collecting fairy lamps and one is no better or worse than another. I do, however, believe that the rationale used by any collector will definitely change over time.

Jim.
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Re: Jackson's Lamp Auction

Post by cadking on Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:52 am

Lets remember that this wasn't the action of one bidder, it took two to get there. I agree that great examples are few, but if I would have had the correct dome, I beleive that I would have paid an equal amount to complete a very rare example of artglass as well as a Fairy lamp. If the buyer does have the correct dome, I hope the lamp photo finds its way into the Undocumenter Photo Collection.
I also have a HUGE collection of parts with the hope of the correct piece falling in my lap (for almost no money), or finding someone with the matching piece that would like to pay $$$$$ to complete a rare lamp. As with everyone else, the pieces "my children" are almost always bases as the top were the items most easily damaged.
I think that this might spur a increase in the lonely lamp parts section of the club website from people trying to find mates to the pieces. cheers

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Re: Jackson's Lamp Auction

Post by genden70 on Wed Mar 26, 2008 10:17 am

Jim,
Well said. Just to add a little. There are new collectors entering the market. They often begin like you buying without being selective. They also buy parts with the hope of finding a mate. They don't have a historical perspective of prices and are willing to pay more because they don't have the memory of that lamp selling for a bargain price. As they gain more experience and knowledge, they become more selective. But it appears to me that the market is active for all levels of fairy lamps. As I have watched ebay sales, I have been surprised and sometimes shocked at the prices paid. I have also found myself evolving to accept paying a price that I would have personally found outrageous not so long ago. Reality has set in and I know that I am not likely to see many bargains in the future. I believe the fairy lamp market is dynamic with prices rising in all segments of collecting victorian era lamps.

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